Monday, October 10, 2016

Whisky Review: Glendronach Single Cask 19 Year 1995/2015 for WhiskyBase

Over the last few years Glendronach has been bottling a huge array of single casks, usually either oloroso or PX sherry. Many have helped to reinforce their status as one of the premier sherry-driven malts in Scotland. Quite a number have been private bottlings for various stores and organizations, which include this one for WhiskyBase.

This was distilled on September 20th 1995, possibly filled directly into a PX sherry puncheon, then bottled in August 2015 at 54.2% without coloring or chill filtration in an outturn of 694.

I got a couple of samples as freebies in WhiskyBase orders (this may say something about how well the bottles have been selling).

Glendronach Single Cask 19 Year 1995/2015 PX Sherry Puncheon #3804 for WhiskyBase

Nose: rich but somewhat subdued sherry, brown butter, vanilla, salted roast peanuts, fresh waffle cones, dark chocolate, fresh sawdust, herbal, rhubarb, orange, apricot, strawberry. After adding a few drops of water the cookie/waffle cone notes are amplified and integrate with the sherry, while the chocolate gets darker.

Taste: big but moderately sweet sherry throughout, hints of malt underneath, kind of hot in the middle, shifts towards savory and bittersweet oak near the back. After dilution it becomes kind of flat but the alcohol heat is almost completely banished.

Finish: savory, yeast, sherry residue/raisins, malt in the background, cacao nibs

I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with this whisky - it's a solid representation of the style - but it just doesn't excite me right now. It especially doesn't excite me to the tune of $150. The nose is easily the best part and offers some nice savory notes, but the palate is just too flat to justify the price. Reading reviews on WhiskyBase it sounds like a lot of other people agree. The fact that this is still available when all of the oloroso single casks appear to have sold out says a lot. It's possible that there are better Glendronach single casks out there, but given their exponentially rising prices I doubt I'll ever try any of them.

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